When it comes to creating local citations it is important to have consistency with your businesses name, address and phone number, other wise known as NAP. Citations are extremely important when it comes to local listings, in fact, in last year’s local search ranking factor study it was ranked the second most important factor, second only to having your business actually located in the city your trying to rank in.
A “citation” is simply a mention of your name, address, or phone number somewhere on the web. Most commonly these citations come from listing sites like yellow pages, or yelp. But a citation can also be found anywhere on the web including blogs, newspaper or anywhere else your business’ name is mentioned.
A major factor in determining how you rank locally is the quality and quantity of citations and NAP’s consistency. Google uses data points to process and review business information for millions of companies across the internet. It uses this information to determine your ranking in local search results. Google scans the web for mention of your business name, address or phone number and compares the information to other data sources to make sure they are consistent. Your local search rankings are heavily influenced by whether or not Google finds your business information on the web and from their data suppliers consistent as well as matching your Google + page and website information. If you want to rank well among local searches it is important to make sure you NAP is consistent across the web.
The problem with citations is that many times there are incorrect listings you are unaware of across the web. It can be a frustrating task to find inconsistencies in your NAP and it is often times you may end up creating accidental duplicate listings. Having inconsistency in your business’s NAP can not only hurt your business’s local ranking but also make it difficult for users to find and call you.